Tashkurgan: China’s Most Beautiful City?

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Civilization’s last bastion on the drive west towards the Sino-Pakistani border is the unassuming town of Tashkurgan. It’s perhaps surprising to find one of China’s most beautiful cities here, but maybe not. The all consuming machine of consumerism and China’s drive has yet to reach this far west. It can’t last forever.

Once the seat of a fledgling Tajikistan empire – it’s name literally means ‘stone fort’, and the eponymous fort still looms large over the entire town. But more on that later.

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Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

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If my woeful lack of preparation for Urumqi on my recent tour of Xinjiang was not indication enough, I should confess: I’m not really a guy who likes to plan things down to minute detail. In fact, some of my most memorable experiences have come when the most planning I did was ensuring I had pants on before stepping out the door.

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Near Death on the Silk Road: Driving the Karakoram Highway

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Maybe I’m being just a mite dramatic, but when you’re hunched over the ragged hole in the concrete floor that acts as a latrine and vomiting what little remains in your stomach onto the reeking pile of shit and piss only inches below your face, death seems like it might be not so far off.

In hindsight I was either battling food poisoning or altitude sickness, but at that moment in muddy Opal on the side of China’s Karakoram Highway – I might as well have been battling the bubonic plague.

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Top 10 Experiences on the Road

It's been a while since I've done a top ten, but as I was plotting future adventures last night, I realized how many fantastic experiences I've had and thought I'd share my pick of the litter with you. I'd love to hear your favorites as well, so don't hesitate to post a comment!

 

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7 Things About Korea: Comforts from Home

The door closes behind my new boss and I'm left standing alone inside a sparsely furnished apartment. I clutch a bottle of water in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other, and the only sounds to keep me company are the humming of an empty fridge and the sounds of traffic that I will learn to accept as a permanent background drone.

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The Road Home

The road back home after any trip abroad is often one filled with mixed feelings. Part of you is probably happy to be returning home and another part, often larger, is sad to be leaving behind what has hopefully been an eventful and enjoyable time in your life. Even in the case of my four months in Korea, which had definitely been more pain than pleasure, I left Korea with a great deal of sadness.

 

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